The Sundance Institute has announced its U.S. and World Cinema Documentary and Dramatic competition selections for the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. John Cooper, director of Sundance Film Festival, reports that they received over 10,000 film submissions this year, which were whittled down to 115 feature-length films.
The festival, which runs from January 20-30 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Utah, will screen four competition categories and six out-of-competition sections. The out-of-competition films will be announced on December 2.
Sundance has also announced that it will screen a narrative film and one documentary on its opening night, as well as one shorts program.
U.S. Documentary Competition
The 16 films selected for the U.S. Documentary Competition, all of which are world premieres, cover topics ranging from hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest to the man behind Muppet Elmo. From actor Michael Rapaport comes Beats, Rhymes and Life, also the title of A Tribe Called Quest’s fourth album, about the pioneering hip-hop artists. Director Constance Marks looks at Kevin Clash, the puppeteer behind Elmo, in Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey. Buck, the first documentary from director Cindy Meehl, turns its lens on master horse trainer Buck Brannaman. The stream-of-consciousness Connected: An Autoblogography about Love, Death & Technology, directed by Tiffany Shlain, looks at interconnectedness in the 21st century.
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front from director Marshall Curry takes a look at the radical environmental group labelled as America’s number one domestic terrorist threat by the FBI. In The Last Mountain, director Bill Haney puts the spotlight on the last great mountain in Appalachia, which is being fought over by a coal mining corporation and a small community. Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s Miss Representation uncovers the disparaging portrayals of women in mainstream media and their effects on a new generation of women. Andrew Rossi’s Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times gives viewers unprecedented access to the New York Times’ newsroom.
The Redemption of General Butt Naked from directors Eric Strauss and Daniele Anastasion paints a picture of a former Liberian warlord who is now an evangelist. Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles from director Jon Foy uncovers the urban mystery behind hundreds of cryptic tiled messages appearing in U.S. and South American city streets. Sing Your Song, a film by Susanne Rostock, offers a different view of entertainer Harry Belafonte by focusing on his leadership in the civil rights movement and his commitment to social justice, while music is at the heart of Morgan Neville’s Troubadours, which focuses on musicians James Taylor and Carole King and their time at LA’s famed Troubadour Club. Lastly, David Weissman’s We Were Here explores the arrival of AIDS in San Francisco and how individuals coped in the early years of dealing with the disease.